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Sad news. Due to technical problems we don't have a new episode to post. We are working on it, and should be able to post in the next few days, but it may be we go a week without a new episode. In the meantime, please check out some of the other great content being posted on the Stranded Panda Podcast Network! https://www.strandedpanda.com/…
 
Alex Trebek has passed away and while trivia may not be a superpower, Jeopardy and trivia contests hold so much overlap with our various fandoms that we wanted to take this episode to explore the show and its importance in our culture. What is the value of objective fact? Why was a show about knowing facts so popular? And just how should we pronoun…
 
What does it mean to be a fan with a critical eye? How do we relate to the stories we loved as kids, as we come to see some of their problematic aspects? How do we balance our values with the desire to be entertained in an imperfect world? Logan Grendel returns to the podcast as we talk about these questions and more. Logan Grendel is a Dog guru, p…
 
Paul and I talk about tropes in our favorite movies and shows, using the Netflix show The Queen’s Gambit as our launch point. What makes a trope annoying or problematic, and where can they be helpful to a story, especially a superhero one? How does Queen’s Gambit both embrace and subvert tropes in ways that make it such an engaging story? And is Ch…
 
OnlyFans – a content creation network launched in 2016 – has quickly become a pop culture phenomenon, allowing fans to subscribe to creators’ channels and get privileged access to their content. Because OnlyFans is one of the few sites which allows creators to post explicit sexual and pornographic content, it has become extremely popular with sex w…
 
Season 2 of The Boys has wrapped up, and we’re diving in to some of the ethical questions it raised. When superheroes are the product, who holds the real power? How did this season hold up a mirror to questions in our own world? And what will AOC... I mean Congresswoman Neuman be an anti-hero, or the new big bad in season 3? Want to continue the di…
 
In part two of our history of comic book superheroes, we round out the golden age with a discussion of the Comics Code Association, which tried to rescue America’s youth from the “10 cent plague!” Jessica Plummer lives in New York and loves Superman very very much. You can listen to just how much on her Superman podcast, Flights and Tights (http://…
 
Wasteland 3 – the new roleplaying game from inXile Entertainment – enables the player to make numerous choices which affect the simulated game world. As such it is a fascinating examination of consequentialist ethics in video game form! What is consequentialism, and how does Wasteland 3 help us understand it? James explores in this solo episode.…
 
‘Do not market a black character as important and then push them aside.’ - John Boyega, GQ Magazine https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/culture/article/john-boyega-interview-2020 In a recent interview, John Boyega, the actor who played Finn expressed his frustration and anger at how the character was treated in the Star Wars postquels. Jared Sylva and Ma…
 
Rob & Matthew’s excellent time travel episode! After months of ranting about the logical and ethical problems with time travel, Matthew invited OG Time Lord Rob McKenzie to explain it all. We look at different theories of time travel, and which movies and tv shows make the most sense. We look at moral questions such as human agency vs. a predetermi…
 
Aaron Rabinowitz, host of the Embrace the Void Podcast, joins James to talk about the AI algorithms which are ruining our lives! How does YouTube decide what videos we should watch next? How does Facebook determine what posts should invade our eyeballs? And do these algorithms help or hurt us? Find the answers to these questions – and hear Aaron’s …
 
Mercy. Honor. Heroes. Bullies. Teen love triangles. 80’s music. Karate. Paul and Matthew dive into the Karate Kid ‘verse with hit TV show Cobra Kai. What does it mean to be a bully, or a hero, and how do we lock ourselves, and others, into those boxes? What happens when the victim gains enough power to become a bully themselves? Is physical violenc…
 
You’ve killed the evil queen - but what happens to the kingdom? Does the evil gang/company/movement just go away when you kill their leader? And if your goal is to kill that leader- is it your responsibility to come up with a plan for what happens next? Paul joins Matthew to dive into these questions and more. We use Avatar: Legend of Korra, as a j…
 
We don’t know when the movie is coming out, but we’re talking Black Widow! My cousin (to be) Ellie joins me to dive into questions like why this character is so important, to the team and to us fans, her death and how it was handled, our thoughts on the upcoming movie. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ellie McCreary is a senior at Creighton …
 
Comics History - The Golden Age, Part 1- WWII When talking about superheroes, and the choices they make or how they do what they do, a favorite topic is to wonder where they started, and how they've evolved from writer to writer, and from page to screen and back again. Today we kick off a special series in which Matthew will be joined by superhero …
 
Chris Stedman is an author, interfaith activist, and lover of pop culture – particularly pop music. Just before the launch of his new book “IRL: Finding Realness, Meaning, and Belonging in Our Digital Lives”, Chris joins James to talk about how pop culture shapes our identity. How do the pop stars we love to love and love to hate shape who we are? …
 
How do you value human life, when yours cannot end? What responsibility comes with the great power of (near) immortality. And is anyone left who is NOT in love with action star Charlize Theron? Special guest Fox Kaye joins Matthew for a discussion of the ethical questions raised by The Old Guard, on Netflix. Cleveland creative Fox Kaye spends most …
 
What happens when the revolution ends, and its time to give up power? Is their value to fighting with honor? And what is a robot society like, when they are the only form of life? Paul and Matthew dive into these questions and more. Their conversation starts with Transformers, War for Cybertron, but no matter how much or little you know about Trans…
 
Who should Tony Stark answer to for Ultron? What about Scarlet Witch, for the events in Nigeria? Who should the Avengers be accountable to, and were the Sokovia accords reasonable? Paul and I discuss issues of accountability across many of the Avenger movies and wrestle with the age old question- Team Tony, or Team Cap. Want to continue the discuss…
 
In this special live show James discusses the ethics of Star Trek with filmmaker Scott Baker. Part of the Virtual Trek Con, Scott and James explore how Star Trek examines ethical themes throughout its many decades on air. Check out the video of their discussion on YouTube.
 
For our 100th episode we had FIVE guests, join us for a panel discussion of some of our favorite ethical questions. Who should a hero be accountable to? What makes a good villain? And, would it be ethical for someone with mind control to force everyone to wear masks until the pandemic ends? Our all star lineup included former co-hosts Paul Hoppe an…
 
The Clone Wars TV show takes the well known stories of the fall of Anakin and the Jedi and gives them nuance, and moral complexity, and explores questions with relevance for our own world. What happens to peacekeepers when they become generals? What is the moral value of clones, and how were they treated? And what happens when people fight a war wi…
 
Ep: 98 - The RIghts of the Unpowered- Legend of Korra S1, and The Boys What happens to normal people, when others get powers? What rights do they have and are those rights respected? And when the people in power push the non powered around- what happens when the non powered push back? Paul and I talk about non powered people in powered worlds. We f…
 
Post-apocalyptic fiction puts humanity in impossible situations in order to explore how we react: when civilization breaks down, what’s left of us? The Last of Us parts 1 and 2 explore this question more thoroughly than any other videogame, and in this episode James explores the moral themes and ethical lessons of both games. There are major spoile…
 
While Ozark is a bit outside our normal topic and doesn’t have many heroes- it certainly has a lot of villains with different ethical perspectives, all of whom are convinced they’re the good one! Stranded Panda extraordinaire Ashley Coffin joins me as we talk about each of the characters and difficult choices they have to make. Whether your love th…
 
Recently Wizards of the Coast – owners and developers of the Dungeons & Dragons games and franchise – outlined how they intended to change their games to remove objectional racist stereotypes. This, only a few weeks after our earlier episode in which James and Corey Clapp called them to do just that! The impact of this podcast is truly incredible! …
 
What’s more fun than taking an ethical system from one world, and trying to find how our favorite characters from other worlds fit into it. In this episode we start with the ethical color pie from Magic the Gathering, in which we look at ethics not in terms of actions, but motivations and mind sets. We explain the system and then focus on other cha…
 
Martin Casas has had an unusual career: he worked in politics for years, starting as a White House intern, then supporting the campaigns of Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, and most recently St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. But in recent years, he’s opened comic bookstore, Apotheosis Comics and Lounge. Apotheosis is an explicitly social-justice oriented …
 
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